Lofton, et al. v. McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, et al., No. 10-10956 (5th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Christopher M. Loften died from a rare disease called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) after taking Motrin. Lofton's wife and children brought suit against defendants asserting that Motrin caused the disease and defendants had failed to warn consumers about the risk of these severe autoimmune allergic reactions. At issue on appeal was whether the district court correctly found that federal law preempted Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 82.007(b)(1), which required plaintiffs to assert, in failure to warn cases, that a drug manufacturer withheld or misrepresented material information to the FDA. The court held that section 82.007(b)(1) required a Texas plaintiff to prove fraud-on-the-FDA to recover for failure to warn and this requirement invoked federal law supremacy. Therefore, because the court concluded that section 82.007(b)(1) was a fraud-on-the-FDA provision analogous to the claim considered in Buckman Co. v. Plaintiffs' Legal Comm., the court held that it was preempted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq., unless the FDA itself found fraud. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants.